Jeremiah 12:5 “If you have raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses?

The complaint you have against your closest brothers and sisters are never new for they have been uttered back in Jeremiah 12. For example, we have complained about the wicked prospering and we have also viewed the godless as being more blessed and asked God why it is so. Some of other complaints also include about our siblings, their lying tongues and betraying habits. These are issues we bring up in modern times but they are the very same issues God heard from His people from centuries ago.

In all that we do, we must remember that God has the best for us in mind. In some of the challenges we face, the common thing we hear from a church elder or even the pastors and priests is that “God has a plan for us and He is strengthening us”. But honestly, how many of us can accept that kind of explanation when we’re deep in the trenches with no rope or harness to rescue us from the deep? We might dismiss it as just some usual “bs” because they sound like a broken record and we can’t help but to think they have nothing new to say anymore. But the truth is, the bible has also laid it out explicitly that it is through such tormenting moments that we are strengthened for the next round of the ensuing battles. 

Jeremiah 12 (New International Version)

5 “If you have raced with men on foot

    and they have worn you out,

    how can you compete with horses?

If you stumble in safe country,

    how will you manage in the thickets by the Jordan?

The modern world we live in is always dressed with pleasures and propping up a carefree life as the trendy characters to have. Any display of struggle is to be looked down upon as if life challenges are only set aside for the ill-fated. This is so wrong. 

But according to Jeremiah 12, we are to shape ourselves stronger and sturdier so we can cope with life battles as they come. This is especially when God has planned to give us our inheritance, one that is wholly designated for us. If we are not strong or strong-willed to protect them, how can we ensure we can secure what He’s about to give us?

  • If He grants you a job, can you perform it well if you have to learn a new skill?
  • If He grants you a business, can you sustain it if the market threatens your existence?
  • If He showers you with great friends, can you hold the friendships when slanders and gossip penetrate into conversations?
  • If He leads us to a holy union with a spouse and your in-laws, can you respect the marriage when traditions and decades old culture seep in?
  • If He promises you a designated plot of promised land, are you able to work the mill diligently for years towards it?

If you can’t then, where else is the best training ground?

Friends, even armies have to go through the sufferings before they go into war with their enemies. Just like how before they can secure victory, they have to defeat the attacks from their opponents. If they are not trained and equipped with the seasons of beatings, do you think they can fend for themselves, their territories and their comrades? 

But here’s the great twist in Jeremiah 12. God also said that He will make those who steal our inheritance pay by uprooting them from wherever they are. And you’d think that God will unleash His fury to finish them off right? Well, not quite.

14 This is what the Lord says: “As for all my wicked neighbors who seize the inheritance I gave my people Israel, I will uproot them from their lands and I will uproot the people of Judah from among them. 15 But after I uproot them, I will again have compassion and will bring each of them back to their own inheritance and their own country. 

As the merciful Father of our lives, He has said that even after taking the wrongdoers away, God will pardon and re-establish them once again if they repented and followed Him. But if they didn’t, the end will be so near they’d wish they had never stolen before.

16 And if they learn well the ways of my people and swear by my name, saying, ‘As surely as the Lord lives’—even as they once taught my people to swear by Baal—then they will be established among my people. 17 But if any nation does not listen, I will completely uproot and destroy it,” declares the Lord.

I pray that your footsteps will be strengthened as you endure the challenges that are meant to shape you up. May you also have the wisdom to decipher God’s lessons for you and give you sufficient grace to lead you away from troubles and into a life of solid position that cannot be shaken. Pray in the name of Jesus that you will overcome those challenges and be a victorious learner, in Jesus name, amen!

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